Sign in to follow this  
Soeley

Auxiliary Gauges

Recommended Posts

Moving on from my auxiliary fuse boxes (this is what actually spurred me on to fit them). Ever since having my old Mini I have always missed the Smiths gauges, I used to have four of them fitted in the dash, Volts, Amps, Vacuum and Oil Pressure.

I’d been thinking about them for a while and bought a Smiths Volt meter with magnolia face and a twin gauge giving Water Temperature and Oil Pressure. So where to fit them, without having boy racer Pods stuck on the dash? Nothing wrong with that if you have a race or rally themed car.

So, just going off pictures from the internet I bought the heater control panel for the manual Air Con model. I was going to drill my existing panel and make some bosses with a curve on them to match the panel, but with the bought panel being £50 +vat I opted for the easy option.

The heater switch holes proved to be just too big for the 52mm gauges, so a small adaptor ring was needed, a bought two plastic washers used for plumbing that were the correct outside diameter. Luckily I had a bearing drift the correct size to cut around to get the required inside diameter.

WP_000296.jpg

WP_000297.jpg

WP_000295.jpg

This look I wasn’t too keen on and couldn’t find my black sticky vinyl to cover them with. I then remembered my trepanning tool I made as an apprentice, so I got what was left from my A4 clipboard (remember my Auxiliary Fuse Boxes?) and set to with my trepanner.

I screwed the clipboard to a piece of wood and drilled a ¼” pilot hole to suit the tool and cut the inside diameter first.

WP_000299.jpg

Then reset the tool and cut the outside diameter

WP_000301.jpg

And there you have it a nice perfect fit spacer

WP_000302.jpg

Here it is just under the gauge bezel

WP_000304.jpg

After that was my big heart stopping moment.

Spot the difference?

WP_000293.jpg

Yes, the V-panel is a different shape between the Auto Air Con and the Manual Air Con, Arrgggghhhhhhh!!

As seen as I was so far in I thought I might as well cut it to suit, can’t take it back now!!!

WP_000298.jpg

Luckily I got it right first cut. I just lay my panel on top of the new one and scribed round it with a pencil. But it does mean I have now lost the two lower plastic locating clips, but it seems to be held in ok, the bottom of the V panel is not loose or flapping about and no rattles.

I did however have to take the V panel apart and just trim a little bit out to clear the chrome bezel of the top gauge, but you can’t see that when it’s all back together.

WP_000305.jpg

Here is the finished look. The Volt meter is at the top with lower gauge for Oil Pressure and Water Temperature.

WP_000307.jpg

The bulbs that illuminate the gauge are the small capless wedge bulbs and I painted one with some Amber bulb paint (two coats) I think this gives the illumination a very good match to the original amber instrument lighting in the car. The lower gauge still has the clear bulb in, which will also be getting two coats of Amber paint.

WP_000311.jpg

And finally a short video showing Battery voltage with ignition on (first position), then you will see the voltage drop as the engine cranks and then settle to about 13v with the engine running. Don't know why Photobucket has rotated it?

th_WP_20121013_151839Z.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Extremely nice job. Looks factory. I've been wanting to add extra gauges to my iQ but here in the States we have the HVAC controls mounted down the front of the console already. I'm very impressed with your work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, I would greatly appreciate it if you could post up what connectors you used for the Oil pressure and water temperature sender units.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the positive comments Taz.

I have not yet connected the temp and pressure gauge, I am still waiting for the connectors/adapters to arrive. They both work by capillary tube though,not electrically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only trouble with modern engines that the Oil pressure varies with engine revs unlike earlier ones that the pressure stayed pretty much constant whatever the revs or Oil temp. now when the engine is hot and ticking over the pressure seems very low.

where once say the running pressure was say 40 psi you would notice any variation from this. not so now with some engines.

i asked a vw garage foreman about this when i fitted a Oil pressure gauge to my golf i had ,he laught and said thats why they dont fit a pressure gauge anymore even on the GTI models. The readings are more a worry than a help.

I replaced the pressure gauge with a temp one. Now those readings were another story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On my Mini (A+ Series engine), the Oil pressure varied quite a bit with the engine rpm, about 20 psi if I remember correctly). I think over a short while you get used to what the standard readings are for you engine when cold and hot. Once you know these you can easily spot any difference in readings you might get caused by an engine fault.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Mark, that is a truly marvelous job. You, and others on here, are geniusissss, if there is such a word... well, there is now! That work looks so tidy, professional. Excellent work, and great to see the photos too. Top marks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark,

I have used a Scangauge in my IQ for a number of years and I mainly use it for monitoring alternator output and coolant temperature, as well as fuel consumption and trip mileage which it does very accurately.

On your gauge,you may find the voltage reading is not as you would expect if like me you are used to an "old Mini" type of display reading, Ie a constant reading of about 14.7v dropping when a system is switched on, and being balanced by alternator output.

I was on quite a long trip once and during it the digital reading on the Scangauge at times was showing a voltage of only just over 12v, going up to the expected 14+ only occasionally.

At first I thought drive belt problems or faulty alternator, but all went well and arrived home safely.

I wrote to Toyota customer services about this, to me, anomaly, and a reply came back saying alternators these days certainly in an IQ do not behave like previous ones and to save fuel energy they only produce charging power when necessary, hence they appear to "freewheel" when there is no demand on the electical system.

I know that is what basically used to happen before but the gauge output is certainly different.

David will no doubt be able to explain it better, but I am just mentioning it so that you dont panic if your voltmeter reads only 12v at times with the engine running.

It is normal.

John

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info John. I think if you use them as a comparrison gauge e.g. get to know the normal readings an behavior, then when something does go amiss you will notice it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I noticed this when designing the dome light mod. The voltage appears not to be far off 12.5 all the time, normally it would be 12.5 with the engine off and raise to 13.8 nominal with the engine running. Indeed usually this is used for working out if the alternator is faulty with a diode pack gone down or the 2N3055 power transistor regulator has gone short and cooking the Battery etc. nice its constant makes design much easier

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic piece of work showing great fabrication skills.

But.......

Can you see the gauges from the driving position without a having a significant parallax error ?

They seem too low to read accurately. This type of gauge is not designed to be read by being viewed at an angle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had to look up the word 'parallax' then before I could answer lol.

Yes, I can see them OK. The replacement panel I bought does make the gauges face forwards as the panel does slope backwards slightly. The Volt gauge does have quite a big display. I might swap the gauges round though when I get the adaptors for the other one with that one having smaller readouts, but like I said earlier once you get used to the readings you get to know them at a glance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, I would greatly appreciate it if you could post up what connectors you used for the oil pressure and water temperature sender units.

Well I just got round to connecting the Water Temp gauge (Volts was done at the time off fitting).

My big concern was getting the sensor bulb through the bulkhead as it is quite big, it is fitted to the gauge so cannot be removed and fitted from the other end. To give an idea of size the brass nut is 21mm A/F.

WP_000684_zpsa4620358.jpg

Anyway I explored the grommet behind the LH knee panel and found their is more room around where the loom goes through than first thought. So a poke through with a small screwdriver to make a small hole to get things started. Then I knew I'd struggle getting the bulb through and racked my brains and came up with this:

WP_000686_zpsc0458599.jpg

A sealant tube nozzle, wasn't the same thread but being soft plastic it bit on to the bulb sensor :) a quick squirt with some WD40 and it slipped through the rubber grommet like a knife through butter without tearing it. Excellent!

Then all I had to do was cut the radiator top hose, insert the connector and screw the bulb in to place, job done.

WP_000693_zps13d77433.jpg

WP_000689_zps3f49778e.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS

I do intend refitting the sensor to the engine block when I can get hold of a 'T' adaptor so I can keep the original sensor and use the auxiliary one together, as where the reading comes from now is not a true engine coolant temperature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love that mod, very retro.

Well done

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this